NASA Releases New Climate Forecasts Through 2100

NASA Earth observaNASA Earth climate map (

The good news is that NASA has just released research on how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide may change because of the concentrations of greenhouse gas growing in Earth’s atmosphere. The space scientists have based their conclusions on historical measurements and robust scenarios of increasing carbon dioxide produced from 21 climate models: specifically, General Circulation Model runs conducted under the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 across two of the Representative Concentration Pathways GHG scenarios (RCP 4.5, “business as usual,” and RCP 8.5, “extreme case”). The dataset is available to the public. Download the dataset here.

The bad news is that although NASA doesn’t say it, neither set of possible future global climate patterns offers much hope of avoiding negative effects of climate change, especially the latter. These NASA climate projections provide a detailed view of future temperature and precipitation patterns around the world at a resolution of 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) from 1950 to 2100. They present daily estimates of maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation over the entire globe.


The 11-terabyte dataset shows projected changes worldwide on a regional level, and it also offers high-resolution data on a daily timescale at the scale of individual cities, towns, and watersheds. These will aid in understanding local and global effects of hazards like severe drought, floods, heat waves and losses in agriculture productivity, as well as in risk assessment. Find additional information about the new NASA climate forecast tool here

Says Ellen Stofan, NASA chief scientist:

“NASA is in the business of taking what we’ve learned about our planet from space and creating new products that help us all safeguard our future. With this new global dataset, people around the world have a valuable new tool to use in planning how to cope with a warming planet.”

NASA Earth observation data for climate science (

The NASA Earth Exchange, a big-data research platform within the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Center at the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, produced the dataset. In 2013, NEX released similar climate projection data for the continental United States, which currently forms the basis of assessing climate risks to the nation’s agriculture, forests, rivers, and cities. The community-based data products promote scientific collaboration, knowledge sharing, and research and development.

NASA describes the overall earth exchange:

“NEX is a collaboration and analytical platform that combines state-of-the-art supercomputing, Earth system modeling, workflow management and NASA remote-sensing data. Through NEX, users can explore and analyze large Earth science data sets, run and share modeling algorithms and workflows, collaborate on new or existing projects, and exchange workflows and results within and among other science communities. NEX data and analysis tools are available to the public through the OpenNEX project on Amazon Web Services.”

OpenNEX information and training materials are available here.

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